4/20. New numbers released ahead of yearly smoke-out in city show majority warming to marijuana legalization in B.C.
There will be more than just a pungent aroma wafting over the Vancouver Art Gallery at Saturday’s annual 4/20 protest.
Activists say a new wave of optimism has been lit under them by more polls showing overwhelming public support for marijuana legalization in B.C.
“I feel like we’re at the beginning of the end of cannabis prohibition now,” said longtime pot campaigner Dana Larsen, referring to the November referendums in Washington and Colorado that saw adult recreational use legalized.
“I’ve been involved in this for 20 years and people have often said, ‘Oh, it’s just around the corner, they’re going to legalize it any day now.’ And I’ve always thought, ‘No, it’s going to be within my lifetime if I’m lucky,’ but … I feel like there’s a pathway now to decriminalization for us in the province that didn’t exist before.”
Larsen will be on the main stage at Saturday’s annual smoke-out, encouraging 15,000 to 20,000 giggling, redeyed revellers to get involved in his Sensible BC campaign, which aims to spur a provincial referendum in September 2014.
An Angus Reid poll released Thursday found 73 per cent of British Columbians support a proposed research trial to evaluate whether the taxation and strict regulation of adult marijuana use could reduce profits to organized crime and better prevent youth access.
Another poll released this week, commissioned by Sensible BC, shows more than 70 per cent support for decriminalizing possession and urging the federal government to give B.C. the right to legalize the drug.
Larsen says he has more than 1,000 volunteers, 20,000 people pre-registered to sign his referendum petition this fall, and robocalls scheduled to go out to every land-line number in the province starting this week, offering the option to pre-register for the petition.
Source: Metro (Vancouver, CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Metro Canada
Author: Kate Webb